Thursday, October 16, 2014

What If We Guarded Our Hearts? {Proverbs 4:23}

What if?

What if we prepared our hearts the way we prepare our faces?
What if we took care of our hearts the way we take care of a nice vehicle?
What if we treasured our hearts more than money?

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." {Proverbs 4:23}

I want to keep this post extremely general as I am just as guilty of this as anyone else.
But, I had the privilege of being a part of a meeting last evening that really made me think about where my heart is, what I am doing with it, and how well I am guarding it.

I would like to parallel preparing, taking care of/guarding, and treasuring our hearts with putting on makeup, detailing a car, and investing financially. Bear with me.

I am not a super huge makeup girl, never have been, never will be. The reasons are not important. What is important is how this can relate to our hearts.
There are incredible skin care lines out there, I make no joke of makeup. There are endless lines to make us beautiful, have fewer wrinkles, enhance collagen, etc.
We have counters filled with moisturizer, toner, exfoliating mixtures, foundation, etc. We get up each morning and spend our time using a small amount from each container, carefully following our normal routine. Time may vary for each person; but, once finished, most times we walk away feeling "unblemished" and "beautiful". 

What would it look like if we did this with our hearts? 

This may look different for everyone, so I ask for grace; I merely write. But, imagine if our hearts were our faces. Imagine if we get up in the morning and gently wash and exfoliate it with a prayer to start our day. Then we would tone and moisturize our hearts by quieting ourselves to sit and read His Word for a moment. In doing this, we would find that our foundation was a part of quieting, we are firm in His truth. Imagine singing, our blush, mascara, eye-liner, etc., of sorts. (Once again, grace). I have no more to write on this, but let's simply imagine that this would happen every single morning.

Moving on to paralleling this with detailing a car. 

Your heart is filled with junk. It's broken and dirty. Can you clean it all by yourself? No. But some days choosing to be at the foot of the Cross comes by you making it intentional. 

So, your heart, it's filled with junk, it's broken and dirty. Sometimes spiritually we just want to take our hearts through a quick-fix car wash; but I wonder if sometimes that doesn't hurt us more than actually do us good. Imagine walking to your heart and seeing that it could use a good wash and wax on the outside and a good vacuuming and cleaning on the inside. What do you do? You grab your supplies and get to work. Once again, those prayers, those desperate ones that ache? They have such a wonderful ability to lay all our dirt at the foot of that rugged Cross. Taking our dirt there washes us clean. But, we can't just stop there. Pouring over the Word of God will clean out our deepest inside parts of our raw imperfectness. Knowing the His truth by heart protects are hearts just like that coat of wax that is put on a vehicle. What would it look like having our hearts clean and brought before Jesus on more than just a once-a-week detailing?

Investments. Ahhh, I am no pro at this; yet I imagine this can definitely be paralleled with our hearts as well. 

Say you are blessed with an inheritance. The wise thing would be not to go spend it frivolously. You would find someone could advise you on how to invest it. You would discuss: stock options, bonds, IRAs, etc. You would educate yourself in this subject, discussing each decision with your adviser. Should this not be the same with our hearts? That we would take it to the wisest Adviser and ask Him where to put our hearts, that we would know how to spend it wisely for His glory. And in doing so, reap His joy, peace, and so much more.

Friends, I am preaching this to my own heart. It is so easy to reach for a distraction in hopes that it is a quick fix. This may be any vice: people, thoughts, possessions, alcohol, drugs, etc. There are so many things we run to instead of to the One that can truly heal, protect, guard, treasure, and care for our hearts. So, what would it look like if we took our hearts to Him, allowed Him to heal us, and trusted Him to protect, guard, treasure, and care for our hearts?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In Light of Love



In honor of one of my best friends as she looks forward to this day.


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To love and be loved.

What does this mean? What does it look like?
I look at the last few years of my life, and it takes on many different meanings.

The gracious redemption of the Savior. Forgiveness showered. Grace poured. Moments of tears.
These are all love.

Wispy, clouded, golden-hued sunsets. Sitting on top of mountains, gazing around. Piano music dancing. Singing. Quiet mornings of rest. Laughter. Precious memories.
These are all an outpouring of His love.

And yet, so often we forget.
We forget to hold these close to my heart.
To remember that He has not forgotten us.

We focus on the busy of today, blinded to the day’s beauty.
Harsh words cascade when we forget love.
Patience is lost to fear creeping into our hearts.

Then a moment of longing comes, and we sit.
We sit down at the feet of the only One who can calm us.
He always gives so graciously.

This morning, He reminded me of this.

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
-1 John 4:16-18

Ahh, there is no fear in love.
Its perfection casts out fear.
It makes me think of that moment, this moment coming soon.
That moment of a bride walking down the aisle toward her love.
In that moment, she walks, beautiful in white, trusting, toward the man she will call her own.
She has let him love her, trusts in that love.
He waits, smiling at the breathtaking beauty.

Human love is not perfect, but through Christ this love becomes more pure and perfect.
His love will endure. Fear cannot reign when the love of Christ is present.

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Ruby, love, we connected in ways that I have never connected with anyone else. God gave me you for many reasons. I think you would agree with me. I will always treasure our talk in the gazebo that one night. (You know which one :) ) That night gave me hope, as I know it did you. I will always hold dear those nights we talked in the car outside the duplex, tears and laughter. Both so precious. The moments you were in Ohio with me, our walks, and catching fireflies because we simply wanted to. Praying with you. My dear friend. You are a gift straight from the heavenlies, and I thank Jesus so much for you. I can't help but get teary-eyed as I write this. You are getting an amazing man. I've known him for years, and my heart is filled with joy that he found you and you found him. I pray Christ will always be the center of your lives, and that you will learn and grow with each other. I love you dear sister.